How does Karl Ove Knausgaard’s collection of letters for his unborn daughter compare to Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet and Ta-Nehisi Coates’ Between the World and Me? All three are beautiful explorations of ideas; all are meant to guide, not to provide solutions. What distinguishes this book, however, comes as a shock: Knausgaard has become an optimist who finds joy and beauty wherever he looks. Those of us who savored the five volumes of his dark, autobiographical novel are meeting a new man here. After marching through hell, he now sees the “astounding things” that make life worth living.
Knausgaard, Karl Ove. Autumn.Translated by Ingvild Burkley, Penguin, 2017, p. 4.